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Mobile tech bungle hits sour note with SA Idols fans

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idols.jpgSouth African pay channel broadcaster, MNET, has announced that the fifth season of its South African version of the popular Idols franchise, would have “joint” winners.

This comes after many viewer complaints highlighted problems with the sms voting system.


On Sunday (03 May 2009) it was announced that Capetonian Sasha Lee Davids had won the competition, but a recount of sms votes was undertaken after it emerged that large volumes of sms votes that were sent before the cutoff date arrived later, and were not counted.

The title will now be shared between Davids and fellow finalist Jason Hartman. The final count shows Hartman beating Davids by a whopping 200,000 votes, with 1.3 million total votes compared to Davids’ 1.1million.

So far, it has still not established where exactly the fault or system failure that delayed the sms votes occurred. At the time of publication, ITNewsAfrica.com had not yet received e-mail responses to queries from MNET or the network operators that were contacted.

It is also still unclear whether Alexander Forbes, who was responsible for auditing the voting results, would make a statement.

It is also unclear how the prize money and recording agreements would be split or settled between the two winners.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Jason should given his moment of glory and recognized as the winner. The prizes are a problem and cannot be shared, but can’t now be taken away from Sasha, so they would have to make good for Jason as the same prize was not for first and second place. I just wonder how many of the other contestants were affected in the same manner. An apology should be made to the public and participants as this is a major blunder.

  2. This is very disappointing. What about the other top 8. If MNet and their service providers were aware of the discrepancies, why has this only surfaced now? And why was this not picked up by Alexader Forbes who where supposed to have verified the votes each week.I think all the top 8’s votes should be recounted by an independant audit firm. We the public deserve to hear the truth. We have spent thousands of rands voting for our favourites and MNet and their service providers have benefitted hugely. One begins to query whether the voting results were deliberately manipulated. During voting, there were several instances where SMS votes were returned undelivered and the telephone lines were unavailable. I am glad you have called for answers what ever the out come please publish there response for all to see. to give he show some credability

  3. Jason is the winner, you either win or loose.
    Give Jason his moment of glory by giving his family and fans a once off idols show with Jason singing all his favourite songs. The auditors should have realized there was a mistake from the weekly votes?
    Well done Jason.

  4. Who is the CEO of Mnet to make the decision they are both talented. We the public were told many times we have a 100% say in choosing the winner. We were also told many times to vote as there can only be one winner. We voted and paid a lot of money to choose our winner and not to be told that they the producers choose. This is misrepresentation of the rules of the show. Whether you lose by 1/20 of a second in a race, your lose, got nothing to do with whether you are talented or not. There can only be one winner

  5. I agree Jason & fans deserve a show to acknowledge this win. It was such an anti-climax when were at the finals show(were convinced Jason was the winner). Jay as I’ve said before you are THE SA IDOL!!

  6. I find this totally unacceptable. I have loyally supported Idols since the start – my loyalty stops here.

  7. SASHA – YOU GOT TO BE “small” TO BE “BIG”!!!!!!!

    YOU DID NOT WIN – STEP DOWN !!!!!!!!

  8. If Sasha-Lee is a fair and Gud person she seems to be then she will give the Idols title to Jason coz he deserves is…

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